Franklin County Ambulance Shortages

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

{Update] 10-05-2010 10:10pm

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a motion to add an additional ambulance to the county.

It was standing room only at the public commisioners meeting for residents wanting to improve the medical emergency services in the county. Currently, the county has two advanced life support ambulances and many residents think that's not enough for medical emergencies. Some residents say they've waited hours for ambulances to respond to emergency calls.

Franklin County resident Orr Brown says, "I called an ambulance at 9:55, and at a quarter after midnight, I was still outside of my house in the most extreme pain I've ever been in."

The county will use about $80,000 from the county's reserve fund to pay for the expense of an additional basic life support ambulance. The ambulance services will remain with George E. Weems Hospitals.

A proposal from Lifeguard Ambulance services to increase the ambulance services was voted down in the meeting.

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Some Franklin County residents say they've waited hours for an ambulance and something needs to be done to fix the problem.
Tomorrow they will get a chance to speak out about their concerns at a public commission meeting.

They say the time it takes for ambulances to respond to emergency calls is too long. And part of their concern is the county only provides two major ambulances for one of the largest counties in the state. The county has two ambulances servicing the area, and one basic life support ambulance stationed at St. George Island - but resdients say three is not enough.

Resident Jackie Bell says,"It's pretty scary to think that you have to wait an hour or something for an ambulance - if you have a heart attack or something that's just too long to wait."

This issue has been in front of the Board of Commissions several times and now some residents are ready to see a change.

Alan Pierce - Director of Administration Services for the county says, "That's the purpose of tomorrow night's hearing - to decide whether the community wants more ambulances, if they're willing to pay for it, and how we're gonna work these issues out."

George E. Weems hospital recently asked the county for a $50,000 boost from last year to maintain services... And they're hoping commissioners will approve the increase.

The ambulances make about four to five hospital runs a day.
The public commission meeting on ambulance services will be tomorrow evening at 5pm at the Franklin County Courthouse Annex in Apalachicola. Residents are welcome to go and voice their concerns about the issues.


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